Fields as Formal Causes

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Quote:In this conversation, Rupert Sheldrake and David Bentley Hart delve into the concept of fields in physics, discussing their nature as non-material formative causes and their historical context in scientific thought. They explore the idea that fields, such as gravitational and electromagnetic, act as top-down causes, aligning with Aristotle's formal and final causes, and argue for a re-evaluation of these ancient concepts in modern science.

Chapter List:

- Introduction
01:14 - Exploring Fields as Causes in Nature
02:08 - Magnetic Fields and Formative Processes
04:19 - Gravitational Fields and Formative Effects
06:10 - Aristotle’s Formal and Final Causes
- Challenges in Understanding Fields
09:09 - Fields as Top-Down Causes
- Morphic Fields and Formative Causation
- Information Theory vs. Form
- Fields and Order in Physics
- Semantic and Syntactic Information
- Universal Gravitational Field
19:44 - Strong and Weak Nuclear Fields
21:18 - History of Field Theory and Ether
23:14 - Gilbert’s Magnetic Theory
- Mind-like Structure in Nature
- Combination of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Theories
- Mechanistic Models and Their Limitations
28:52 - Recovering Aristotelian Causality
31:39 - Conclusion and Reflection on Fields as Modern Souls
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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